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Us 51, America 21, Cia 19, Osama Bin 6, United States 6, Maya 5, Nevada 5, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 4, Jennifer 4, Obama Administration 4, Ken Salazar 3, Fiction 3, Alan 3, Google 2, Chinese 2, Allen 2, Hollywood 2, Midstream 2, Rodriguez 2, John Mccain 2,
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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    January 30, 2013
    1:00 - 6:00am EST  

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he complimented the efforts of a bipartisan group of senators who announced their reform plan on monday. the president spoke about 25 minutes. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you. well, it is good to be back in las vegas. [applause] and it is good to be among so many good friends. let me start off by thinking everybody at del sol high school for hosting us. [applause] go dragons.
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let me especially thing your outstanding principal. [applause] there are all kinds of notable guests here but i just want to mention a few. first of all, our outstanding secretary of the department of homeland security, and janet napolitano. [applause] our wonderful secretary of the interior ken salazar. [applause] former secretary of labor, hilda solis. [applause] two of the outstanding members of the congressional delegation from nevada, steve and gina. [applause] your own mayor, carolyn goodman. [applause] we also have some mayors who flew in because they know how important issue we are to talk about today is.
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maria from arizona. qassim from atlanta, georgia. rick from phoenix, arizona. and ashley from fresno, calif. [applause] than all of you are here, as well as some of the top labor leaders in the country. we are so grateful. outstanding business leaders are here as well. of course, we have wonderful students here. [applause] those of you have a seat, feel free to take a seat. i do not mind. i love you back.
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[applause] last week, i had the honor of being sworn in for a second term as president of the united states. [applause] and during my inaugural address, i talked about how making progress on the finding challenges of our time does not require us to settle every debate or ignore every different we may have, but it does require us to find common ground and move forward in common purpose. it requires us to act. i know that some issues will be harder to lift than others. some debates will be more contentious. that is to be expected. but the reason i came here today is because of the challenge where the differences are dwindling, where a broad consensus is emerging, and
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where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across america. i am here today because the time has come for common sense comprehensive immigration reform. the time has come. now is the time. [applause] now is the time. [applause] now is the time. now is the time. [applause] i am here because most americans agree that it is time to fix the system that has been broken for way too long. i am here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor
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leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as the land of opportunity. now is the time to do this, so we can strengthen our economy, and strengthen our country's future. think about it. we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. that is who we are, in our bones. the promise we see in those that come here from every corner of the globe, that has always been one of our greatest strengths. it keeps our recourse young, a key to our country on the cutting edge, and helped to build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known. after all, immigrants help to start businesses like google, and yahoo!, they created entire new industries that in turn
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created new jobs and new prosperity. in recent years, one in four high-tech start-ups in america were founded by immigrants. one in four new small business owners were immigrants, including right here in nevada. folks who came here seeking opportunity and now want to share that opportunity with other americans. but we all know that today we have an immigration system that is out of date and badly broken. a system that is holding us back, instead of helping us to grow our economy and strengthen our middle-class. right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in america. 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows. yes, they broke rules, they crossed the border illegally, maybe they overstayed their visas.
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those are the facts, nobody disputes them. but these 11 million men and women are here. many of them have been here for years. and the overwhelming majority of these individuals are not looking for any trouble. they are contributing members of the community. they are looking out for their families, looking out for their neighbors. they are woven into the fabric of our lives. every day, like the rest of us, they go out and try to earn a living. often, they do that in the shadow economy, a place where employers may offer them less than the minimum wage, or make them work overtime without extra pay. and when that happens, it is not just that for them, it is bad for the entire economy. because all the businesses that are trying to do the right thing, hiring people legally,
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paying a decent wage, following the rules, they are the ones that suffer. they have to compete against companies that are breaking the rules. and the wages and working conditions of american workers are threatened, too. so if we are truly committed to strengthening our middle-class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle-class, we have got to fix the system. we have to make sure that every business and every worker in america is playing by the same set of rules. we have to bring the shadow economy into the light so that everyone is held accountable. businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. that is common sense. that is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. [applause]
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there is another economic reason why we need reform. it is not just about the folks that come here illegally, having the effect on our economy. it is also about the books that try to come here legally but have a hard time doing so, and the fact that has on our economy. right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities. they are earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science. but once they finish school, once they're in that diploma, there is a good chance they will have to leave our country. think about that. intel was starting with the help of an immigrant who studied here and stayed here. histogram the starting with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. right now in one of those classrooms, there is a student
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wrestling with how to turn their big idea, there intel or instagram into a big business. we are giving them the skills to figure that out, but then we are going to turn around and tell them to start the business and create those jobs in china, or india, or mexico, or someplace else. that is not how you grow new industries in america. that is how you give new industries to our competitors. that is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. [applause] now, during my first term, we took steps to try to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system. first, we strengthen security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants. we put one puts on the ground on the southern border than in any other time in history.
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today, a legal crossings are down nearly 80% from their peak in 2000. [applause] second, we focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and in danger our communities. today, deportations of criminals is at its highest level ever. [applause] third, we took up the cause of the dreamers. the young people who were brought to this country -- [applause] young people who have grown up here, have their lives here, teachers here. we said if you are able to meet basic criteria, like pursuing an education, then we will consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so that you can live here and work here illegally. so that you can finally have the dignity of knowing you belong.
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but because this change is not permanent, we need congress to act, and not just on the dream act. we need congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now. that is what we need. [applause] now, the good news is, or the first time in many years, republicans and democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. [applause] members of both parties in both chambers are actively working on a solution. yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive
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immigration reform which are very much in line with the principles of a proposed and campaigned on for the last few years. so at this moment it looks like there is a genuine desire to get this done soon. and that is very encouraging. but this time, action must follow. we cannot allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate. we have been debating this for a very long time. it is not as if we do not know technically what needs to be done. as a consequence to help move this process along, today i am lying about my ideas for immigration reform, and my hope is this provides some key markers to members of congress as the craft a bill, because the ideas i am proposing have traditionally been supported by both democrats like ted kennedy, and republicans like president george w. bush. you do not get that match up
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very often. we know where the consensus should be. of course, there will be rigorous debate about many of the details. and every stakeholder should engage in real give-and-take in the process. but it is important for us to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already in place, and if congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, i will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. [applause] so, the principles it are pretty straightforward.
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there are a lot of detail behind it. we will hand out a bunch of papers so everyone knows we're talking about. but the principals are straightforward. first, i believe we need to stay focused on enforcement. that means continuing to strengthen security at our borders. it means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers. to be fair, most businesses want to do the right thing, but a lot of them have a hard time figuring out who is here illegally and who is not, so we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly verify some one's employment status. and if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers, the need to wrap up the penalties. second, we have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally. we all agree that these men and women should have to earn their
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way to citizenship. but for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a clear path to citizenship. [applause] we have got to lay out a path. a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning english, and then going to the back of the line, beyond all the folks who are tried to come here legally. that is only fair. that means it will not be a quick process, but it will be a fair process and will lift these individuals out of the shadows and give them a chance to earn their way to a green card and eventually to citizenship. [applause]
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and the third principle is we have to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century. it no longer reflects the values of our time. for example, if you are a citizen, you should not have to wait years before your family is able to join you in america. [applause] he should not have to wait years -- you should not have to wait years. if you are a foreign student who was to pursue a career in science or technology, or a foreign entrepreneur that wants to start a business with the backing of american investors, we should help you do that here. because if you succeed, you will create american businesses and american jobs. you will help us grow our economy, strengthen our middle- class. so that is what comprehensive immigration reform looks like.
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smarter enforcement, at a pathway to earn citizenship, improvements in the legal immigration system so that we continue to be a magnet for the best and brightest all around the world. it is pretty straightforward. the question now is simple. do we have the result -- resolve as a people, as a country, as a government, to finally put this behind us? i believe that we do. [applause] i believe that we do. [applause] i believe we are finally at the moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp. but i promise you this, the closer we get, the more emotional this debate will become. immigration has always been an issue that inflames passions.
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that is not surprising. there are few things that are more important to us as a society than who gets to come here and call our country home. who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the united states of america. that is a big deal. when we talk about that in the abstract, it is easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of us versus them. and when that happens a lot of folks forget that most of us used to be them. we forget that. [applause] it is really important for us to remember our history. unless you are one of the first americans, native american, you came from someplace else. somebody brought you.
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ken salazar is of mexican- american descent, but he points out his family and living where he was for four hundred years, so he did not immigrate anywhere. the irish, who left behind a land of famine. the scandinavian who arrived eager to pioneer out west. the polish, the russians, the italians, chinese, the japanese, the west indians, the huddled masses who came through ellis island on one coast and angel island on the other. [applause] all those folks, before they were us, they were them.
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when each new wave of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here. they faced hardship. that faced racism. they face ridicule. but over time, as they went about their daily lives, they earned a living. they raised a family. they built the community. the kids went to school here. they did their part to build a nation. the were the einstein's in carnegie's but also the millions of women and men whose names history may not remember, but whose actions helped make us who we are. they build a comedian by hand, brick by brick. they all came here knowing that
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what makes someone at american is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles. and the faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere could write the next great chapter of our story. and that is still true today. allen is here this afternoon. he is around here -- there he is, right here. [applause] now, allen was born in mexico.
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[applause] he was brought to this country by his parents when he was a child. growing up, he went to an american school. he pledged allegiance to the american flag. he felt american in every way and he was. except for one. on paper. in high school, allen lost his friends, of age, riding around town with their new licenses, earning extra cash from their summer jobs at the mall, and he knew he could not do those things. it did not matter that much. what mattered to him was earning an education so he could live up to his god-given potential. when he heard the news we would offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows, even for just two years at a time, he was one of the first to sign up. he was one of the first people in nevada to get approved two months ago. [applause]
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he said he felt the fear vanish. he felt accepted. he is in his second year at the college of southern nevada. [applause] he is studying to become a doctor. [applause] he hopes to join the air force. [applause] he is working hard every single day to build a better life for himself and his family. all he wants is the opportunity to do his part to build a better america. [applause] so in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real, and the debate becomes more heated, and there are folks who are trying to pull this thing apart, remember allen and all those who shared the
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same hopes and st. james barrett remember this is not just a debate about policy. it is about people. it is about men and women and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the american story. throughout our history, that has only made our nation stronger. that is how we will make sure this century is the same as the last. an american century. a welcoming of everybody who aspires to do something more. and is willing to work hard to do it. and is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag. thank you. god bless you. and god bless the united states of america. [applause]
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["stars and stripes forever" playing] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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♪ >> democratic senator chuck schumer and republican senator john mccain, tomorrow morning they take part in a political breakfast series. later, a senate panel looks at
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dawn violent following -- at gun violence following the newtown, connecticut school shooting. watch live coverage from the senate judiciary committee at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> all of us work hard for a quality way before got to the white house. the darndest thing, i think the ladies will agree, the days before your married to the president-elect, nobody gives a darn what you say. the day after you are married to the president-elect of people think you are brilliant. >> c-span new original series, first ladies, influence and image. their public and private lives,
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their influence on the president. produced by the white house historical association. season one begins presidents' day, february 18, at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> now discussion on cia interrogations in the search for osama bin laden. we will hear from cia officials who served during the bush administration. the american enterprise institute hosts this 90-minute event. >> good morning. welcome to this morning's panel. separating fact from fiction. i am a member of a task force on detention and interrogation policy. captain bigelow's recent film
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sparked controversy. its graphic depiction of eight torture. for the most part, the outrage has come from the left. you are a conservative like me, when you see the washington left with the hollywood left, your temptation is to sit back and destroyed a fight. that is why many of the cia and defenders and supporters stayed out of this debate. i interrupt while the progressives are fighting it out. many americans will form their opinions based on what they see on the silver screen. it is important for those who know the truth to set the record straight and separate fact from fiction. today, we have a distinguished panel to help us do that. three veterans. there were directly involved in the cia integration and detention program. also the hunt for osama bin
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laden. mike is the former director of the national security agency and the director of the intelligence agency. i got to know him back in 2006, when i was asked to write the president's speech revealing the existence of the interrogation program. he was very kind to give me access to all the intelligence and introduced me to the men and women who conducted the interrogation. but he is not only one of the smartest people i know. he is one of the most compelling witnesses. when he came into the office, the program had been suspended. he was not involved in its initial creation. he conducted a partial assessment. he gathered all the information and had to advise the president whether or not to restart it. he concluded he could not advise the president not to have an interrogation program.
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we will ask him to explain why that is. jose rodriguez is the former director of the cia service. he was an undercover officer, becoming the head of the cia's counter-terrorism center. including the interrogation program defected in this film. he is the author on what i considered the best book on this topic. he is in my view an american hero. john is the former chief legal officer of the cia. he spent 34 years in a cia office of general counsel. he has been called the most influential career lawyer in the cia history. in his memoir, a former director wrote, you do not call in the
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tough guys in a crisis. call lawyers. get the information they needed while staying well inbounds of the law. he sacrificed personally. before we begin the discussion, let's show a trailer of the film. >> can i be honest with you? i have bad news. i am not your friend. i will not help you. i will break you. any questions?
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♪ i want to make something absolutely clear. a working group coming to a rescue. i want you to know you are wrong. there is nobody else. there is just us. we are failing. ♪ >> do you really believe this story? osama bin laden?
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>> the whole world will want to know this. [indiscernible] ♪ >> all right. so, the progressives complaint is, the detection of torture is accurate, and their role in finding osama bin laden is not accurate.
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i want to ask a real simple question. it has been quite an experience going to the movie theater and seeing something you all worked so closely on in your lives. what did you think of the movie? >> i like it. on balance, i am glad it was made. we will talk about that is not quite right and so on. on balance, i am very happy the story was made. frankly, i am very happy because i read the op-ed in a post this morning. we will discuss the accuracy, artistic and historical, inside the film. i think it does a masterful job at suggesting that in the real world, there are no right angles and no easy answers to very difficult situations and that was a great service.
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>> i also like the movies. very entertaining. it is a movie and there are some things i really like and things i did not like. i did not like the portrayal of the enhanced interrogation techniques. i did not like the fact that it made a false link between torture and intelligence successes. i also think torture does not work. our program works because it was not torture. there were other things i like about the movie. i like the fact that it conveyed it was a 10 years.
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-- a marathon rather than a sprint. and that the agency was the focus of the effort and that it succeeded because of the commitment, dedication, and tenacity of its people. i like the fact that it showed the enhance interrogation program had something to do with the capture of bin laden. human operations, analysis, technical operations, imagery. i also liked it showed the strong working relationship between agency and the military. it is a mixed bag. it is entertainment and i like it as entertainment.
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>> i agree. it was a terrific action flick, about 20 minutes too long. [laughter] the final takedown was done in real time. riveting. and how the technique came to be and the safeguards we put on them. all the monitoring by medical personnel during the course of the interrogation, is a movie. the character in the marvy, the interrogator, making stuff up as he went along, not talking, bring on the water, get a
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bucket. people ask me about the box. most of you know one of the techniques was a box, putting a detainee in a box for a limited duration. the box in the movie is not the kind of box used. when i say all this, i do not want to downplay or leave any impression that the actual water boarding was tame or benign. it was a very aggressive technique, as were all the others. i went into it telling myself it will be a movie. i was relieved there were no lawyers involved in the movie. [laughter]
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i would expand the next four years at a cocktail party explaining why i was not that lawyer. on the whole, it was a mixed bag but a terrific movie. i think it did really taking no sides. i think there were complicated moral questions, especially in the first few scary months after the 9/11 attacks. >> you were the chief legal officer at the time. would you have authorize the interrogation techniques as they were depicted? do they just throw someone on a mat and pour water on their heads? >> no.
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the interrogators were not allowed to ad lib. there were certain specific memos. there was a meticulous procedure to undertake. before use of the water board, they will confirm this, the interrogators at the site would have to come back in riding and explain why they thought the water boarding was necessary. it would be approved at headquarters. it took the cia director to approve the use. the box is not pleasant. there was a big box authorized you could stand in and a smaller box. it did not appear to me to be quite as small as what was
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depicted in the movie. but yes, there was a box technique. everyone can look at it a different light. i had the impression in this seen the guy was ad libbing as he went along. that was far from the reality. >> one of the scenes, the interrogator throws the detainee down and pours water in his face and shouted, when is the last time you saw bin laden? there is a difference between interrogation and debriefing. the purpose of interrogation, we do not ask questions we do not know the answer to. >> hollywood has got to compress
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everything. there are no lawyers depicted in the film. one station chief for 10 years. [laughter] things are bad decompressed. reality may have just been too long a story. i am almost willing to make an absolute statement that we never asked anybody anything we did not know the answer to while they were undergoing the enhanced interrogation techniques. the techniques were not designed to elicit truth in the moment, tell me this or i will hurt you more, i am not your friend. two thirds of our detainees, it was not necessary. i am willing to admit the existence of the option may have influenced the two thirds
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who said, let's talk. for about one-third, techniques were used. not to elicit information in a moment, but to take someone who had come into our custody, absolutely defiant, and move them into a zone of cooperation whereby, you recall the scene in the movie after the detainee is cleaned up and they are having this lengthy conversation. for the rest of the detention, it is a conversation. it is a debriefing. it is a going back and forth. a lot of people reflexively say they will say anything to make you stop. that may be true. that is why we did not ask them questions while this was going on.
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again, john said, these things were not kind. but the impact psychologically, you are no longer in control of your destiny. you are in our hands. that movement into the zone of cooperation, as opposed to the zone of compliance. -- defiance. >> usually, the interrogation program lasted a few days, and in the case of some, a few weeks. it was a finite amount of time. the justifications for the use of the techniques said that we could not go beyond 30 days. they had very specific information regarding how long it could be and how long we
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could pour water. it was very well controlled. pretty quickly, he recognized within 10 seconds, we would stop pouring water. it was figured out any started to come up with his fingers up to 10. he would let us know the time was up. >> tell the story you have in your book about what was said to our interrogators after being water boarded. >> it was interesting. it gave us the explanation. the explanation was the brothers needed religious reasons to talk.
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once they felt they were there, they would then become compliant and provide information. he basically recommended to us we needed to submit the brothers to this type of procedure if we wanted them to cooperate. to help them reach the level where they would become compliant. >> to do so without sin. this narrative was my summer of 2006 trying to make judgments on the overall effectiveness of the program in the past and what would be a legitimate program going for it. circumstances had changed. this story was important for my own soul-searching on this
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because, in other words, i was not trying to prove the point that what we were doing was universally applicable. it was well suited to this group. whose believe was founded on metaphysical principles. obedience to the will of god. this story told about creating -- allah expects us to obey him, but he will not send a burden bigger than we can handle. i can speak to you without fear of hell. on the outside, some tried to expand the debate. to suggest we are trying to
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suggest some kind of metaphysical macro principle applied to all time. that may be true but i was not interested in that. i was focused on what was happening here in this world. >> they reached the point where they felt they could talk. once they reached that point, these are very egomaniacs people. they have a big huge egos and they cannot wait to tell you how evil they are. they just started talking. they would not stop. >> that philosophy started.
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if you read the looming tower, he was tortured and gave up one of his close confidants. the person came to him and said, you are ok. you resisted. he resisted as far as you could. no one could have undergone it. you did the right thing by giving me up. he was one of the people who trained them in towner interrogation techniques. this is the philosophy spread throughout the group. but we see in the movie that -- how many detainee's underwent waterboarding? we heard that one was a waterboard id 180 times.
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could you expand a little bit on that? >> he was never waterboarded. he was the last detainee who was subjected to it before we had to suspend the program. it stopped midstream. it earned him a footnote in history, i suppose. this issue of numbers, how many times, how many times they were they waterboarded, this arose in 2004. it was by the obama administration when he came into office.
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it depends on the way you count them. the actual applications lasted matter of seconds. if you think he was left at 83 sessions, i do not want to say that what these guys went through was not very aggressive. it simply, those numbers are just way out of bounds and had been misinterpreted in subsequent years to as to the particular organizations. >> one of the startling
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statistics is that there are journalists who have submitted to waterboarding to show how bad it is rather than terrorists. >> for the record, that was not me. i was not that into my legal research. tens of thousands of american servicemen have been waterboarded. right now the only people we still waterboard are american people, americans in uniform. waterboarding continues, it is not the terrorists. let's turn to the question of the role that detainees played in the hunt for osama bin laden. if you can walk through the role and how it affected it. >> we are anchored on the movie. is the movie a lot more subtle than those who have not seen the movie?
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feel free to comment. after reading commentary about the movie, i expected this nonstop linear short line between an interrogation session and boots on the ground. there is an awful lot of complex intelligence work that is shown in the movie, for which i do not think the movie gets credit. i do want to make that point. when i was first briefed, and i think it was late 2007. it may have been very early 2008. the team came to me and said "we think we're onto something here."
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what we think we've portrayed correctly was the obsession people tracking down osama bin laden. this is a very broad team. these folks have been on one or another different hypothesis. they came to me and said "couriers." we think this is going to be a very positive line of inquiry. we have some information. we know we are communicating. we're confident it is not electronically giving the other means. we would have detected that. it must be face-to-face. we have leads on couriers. they laid out a whole series of paths they were following.
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one was information derived from cia detainees. it was just mentioned in passing. we were not trying to prove a principal or refute an argument or anticipate the script of a future academy award nominated movie. it was just part of the flow. that is what i tried to suggest to you. it is almost impossible for me to imagine anything like that happening without making use of this costco-like storehouse of intelligence information that we gained over the years through detainees. and the ability to go back to the detainees and challenge their information or to prompt them with new information. let me suggest one other thing. in an attempt to create the argument of a linear connection, very often stuff you
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have in your possession takes meaning only from information later discovered. that kind of costco warehouse, something last seen from "raiders of the last arc" starts to glow. it is something you have learned in 2007 or 2008. you have to treat this as a tapestry. that is the only way to consider it. >> one of the things you told me was that intelligence is like putting together the puzzle without the box. >> it is like putting together a puzzle that there are no edge pieces and you do not get to see the cover on a box. there are a whole bunch of puzzle pieces that do not belong to this puzzle. if you can talk to someone who has glimpsed the cover of the box, and that is the detainee,
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it eliminates an awful lot of things you may already possess but cannot quite fit into the pattern. >> in this case, the man who drew the cover of the box. >> the movie is about the information to get osama bin laden. there's a lot more to this story. that is the destruction of al qaeda. the enhanced interrogation program was key in destroying al qaeda. osama bin laden came 10 years later. we had a number of terrorists coming after us with plots. we were able to capture them, kill them, destroy the plot, wrap them up because of this program. we can go into detail in terms of everything that happened, but enhanced interrogation programs were the key to that.
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>> a follow up. take us back to september 1, 2001. there is smoke in the ground in new york. the pentagon is broken. what do we know about al qaeda? did we know that members of this network, all this information we take for granted now? >> we did not know that much. we did not know who was responsible for 9/11. we had a few assets that provided us some peripheral information. we did not know very much. it took a long time for us to be in a position to really learn what was going on. in march of 2002, we captured al zabeta. we recognized that we had to do
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something different. contrary to what some people are saying, he initially provided a couple of pieces of information. then he shut down. we knew they were coming after us in the second wave of attacks. we knew that they had a nuclear program. they had a biological weapons program. we thought we needed to do something different. that is when the enhanced interrogation program came into existence. he went through the program, started in august of 2002 for 20 days or so. a few weeks later we captured a major player. he was a go-between. this was the key to all of that. we forget that it was not just
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osama bin laden 10 years later. it was al qaeda coming with us with plots and plots that allowed us to take down. >> one of the points you made to me was after 9/11 we had a legal program to get the people who had done this to us. we also had a program to get some of these people alive and find out what we know. in this situation it is not optimal. you want to kill terrorists but it is not always optimal. it seems to me our policy is to vaporize all the intelligence with drones. is that an optimal situation? >> certainly in the wake of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks where we were trying to pull together a program that would elicit the information that our experts were convinced were keeping from us, i can tell you. i was there from the beginning through the end of the program. the cia is an intelligence collection organization, first
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and foremost. it is in agencies dna to want to collect intelligence from all sorts of means, especially human intelligence. you cannot collect human intelligence from a dead guy. the absolute priority was to
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thwart the next terrorist attack, which in 2002 everyone, including the people at the cia, thought was only a matter of time. the priority from the beginning with the others was to take them alive. he was captured in a firefight in which he was seriously wounded. the agency sent doctors over to bring him back. it was not out of compassion but he was no good to us dead. the collection portion for years was paramount. lethal operations was not the first option. it certainly was not the only option for those of us at the time.
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>> one of the critiques of the program is that ksm underwent waterboarding and all the rest. he still lied about others. you have a fascinating story in your book about how we discovered that he was actually covering. can you fill us in? >> usually they will not give you the 100% of the information they have in their minds. it is not going to happen. get is not a "push button, a banana type of thing." he was so vicious. they were communicating with each other. they did not think we knew. we did not tell them that we knew they were communicating with each other. we intercepted a communication between khalid sheikh mohammed and some of the other detainees in which he said "do not say a
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word about the courier." that told us a lot about the courier. he speaks to the importance of having a place to take the individuals. we could use that type of communication. we could use it to check a name. it was very helpful for us. >> after the osama bin laden raid came out and the word came out that interrogations played a role, senator mccain gave a speech and said that the first mention of mohammed al-qahtani came from a detainee held in
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another country. we did not render him to the country for the purpose of interrogation. that statement is technically correct. it is deeply misleading. not intentionally. it implies that we knew all this before hand and we're now just saying we got more information. can you explain why that particular, why it is important that the program was not critical to it? >> you're probably talking about another the first mentions, he mentioned it in passing. at the time, which was 2002 or 2003, it did not mean anything
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to us. a security expert for al qaeda, it was not until we got our own information from a facilitator in 2004 that we learned that al- kuwaiti was the courier for osama bin laden. at the time it did not mean anything to us. it was like saying josé the puerto rican. what meant something to us was the fact that we got validation that there was one courier who was osama bin laden's principal way of communicating with al qaeda central. it meant that osama bin laden had taken himself out of the day-to-day running of al qaeda, that he had decided for whatever reason that he was just going to run the operation long distance, recognizing that it was going to be a lot less effective to run an operation like that from far away. it also told us that finding osama bin laden would be a lot more difficult. al-kuwaiti was his true name and go out and find him. the information that was obtained at the site although not complete was key. it is what is important in the eventual take down of the man.
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>> i mentioned the article this morning about this movie being a national rorschach test. you will see what you want to see. sometimes we talk past one another. you just saw jose's description and mark's. it is a tapestry. it is complicated. when john wrote the report he
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said that there is no evidence that any imminent attacks have been stopped for the cia interrogations program. itss let that stand on merits. let's not even challenge that. that then is taken to mean the program therefore was not effective. you cannot prove this close, immediate, if it did not lead you to tackle someone who is around on the rooftop right before the attempt, then it did not count. breaking up the financial network 18 months earlier, disrupting the courier, you get the point. sometimes it gets bollixed up.
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we had all the letters here. we are mixing and matching. i think that gets lost. >> one example is the takedown of the cell where you had ksm getting information that he gave $50,000. then you take that information.
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he gives us the name of the person that he gave a description and the phone number. that information, you then would lose analysis on on that phone number. it was critical to that. all sorts of intelligence aspects get involved. >> you cannot separate any single source, any single discipline, any single thread. maybe we could think of one. that is not how it normally happens. it is reflected with the detective work that goes on once you leave the emphasis on these sites. >> you once called the bluff of the deniers and suggested that it produced no information. why do we not sure of
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interrogations reports? we have the intelligence committee now. no one has seen it. they claim it says that no information useful came from enhanced interrogation. why do they not pass a law saying it should be destroyed and never used again? >> i was feeling prickly when i wrote that. if you think it is all invalid and all illegitimate, in our legal system, if you pose it on ethical grounds this never works. let us know. we will clean out the files. it is an overwrought challenge on my part. you see the points that i'm trying to draw here. this was important. let me tell you what you threw away. you threw away the 9/11 report.
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>> i think it is a ridiculous assertion when a report says that the enhanced interrogation program had no value or produced nothing. it is disturbing. in my view, it is an attempt to rewrite history. the narrative of this administration is that the enhanced interrogation program was torture and nothing came out of it. in fact, we were able to destroy al qaeda because of it.
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i do not know how they can spend 3.5 years spending i do not know how many millions of dollars and never interviewed any of us and come up with a statement like that. i do not understand that. >> it does not make any sense. it does not compute. nothing?
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nothing? thousands of reports produced zilch? we can argue about what role it played. this administration and reconfirmed by the current acting director, the program did play a role. this is a complex picture with many different strands intertwined. we can argue about how big a role it played. it just defies logic for someone to take a position that none of it, none of their reports, none of the detainee reporting made any difference at all. do not buy that. >> mike once compared the deniers of the cia program to birthers and truthers. there seems to be an obsession
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of critics to deny the efficacy of the program. if you look at a movie like "zero dark thirty," kathryn bigelow says she acknowledges the effectiveness. it is a valid position to take. why are people so obsessed with trying to disprove the obvious, that we got information? >> i may be a little edgy in my response. i am pointing to the broader american public. i'm talking about the national psyche, not anybody in and out of office. just you. part of a collective. the american citizenry. let me tell you a sentence i never heard of director of the cia. "i know this is bad, but what ever you do, do not overreact." i never heard that. i can document a whole bunch of conversations that were way on the other side. it might be as part of a national consciousness a moral struggle for some and our citizenry or national political culture that they are trying to deal not with that we did it but that they did not mind it. or they did not mind it at the time. or they did not mind at the time strong enough to say let's
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not overreact. let me give you the intelligence officer's lament. this is whining. we're often put a situation where we are bitterly accused of not doing enough to defend america when people feel endangered. then as soon as we have made people feel safe again we are accused of doing too much. i realize that is my fault, my whining. everyone may not share that view.
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every now and again in a self pitying a moment i allow myself that thought. [laughter] >> look. i agree. whether we do these types of programs ever again, it is up to the president. it is up to the american people. they can choose. what i take exception to is trying to say it did not work. we need to be honest with ourselves and do an honest assessment of the value that this program brought. we may have to do something like it. it is a dangerous world out
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there. >> let me ask you a question. are we less safe today because this program has been curtailed? you developed a program that was handed off to any administration. it has been eliminated. what is the effect of that? >> honest men can differ about this. i respect honest men who differ about this. the individual can form a sentence saying i did not want
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you to do this. i have issues. i do not want you doing this even though it may have helped. you and i are coming from the same political culture. we have a meaningful discussion about what it is, how much risk do we want to embrace as a people? when i became director in 2006, i concluded that we are not the nation's jailers. we are the nation's intelligence service. there cannot be an endless detention program where we keep people. i spent the summer of 2006
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talking to people saying we ought to move these people out of cia custody. because the value of most of them are off to a point that other factors were becoming more dominant in the equation. over labor day weekend we lost 14 detainees to guantanamo. i also attempted a dialogue with congress. i recognized that if this were valuable and said we need some kind of program to go forward, we needed this option. i was not prepared to tell the president do not worry about this, you'll never need this in the future. i also knew it that the preservation would depend on a whole bunch of factors. one was need. how much more do we know about
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al qaeda now? how many more human and other intelligence penetrations of al qaeda do we now have compared to where we were in 2002? a lot changed. things that were lawful in one circumstance may not be in another. this had to be america's program. it could not be the cia program or the bush administration's program. there is no success if you are running an on-off switch every two years. i was willing to revamp the program and make it more narrow. it takes it off the table and able to preserve a program that is politically sustainable. that is pretty much what we thought we did. that is the dialogue we have with the incoming obama administration. i began my longest conversation with them at the agency, something along the lines of i think we have already done what you have done. it is appropriate in the new circumstances. it did not hold. all american detainees under any agent of the american government have to be treated with the army field manual. it was proved in september 2006. i would suggest the casual manual was written with the knowledge that there was option b. that this program was also
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available. now we are left with this option a. it should not concern you. before you get to interrogation, you have to capture and we do not capture. we have made it so legally difficult and so politically dangerous to capture that it seems to the outside looking in that the default option is to take the terrorists off the battlefield in another way. >> could you talk a bit about what obama inherited? we had moderate sleep deprivation.
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tummy slap. a diet of liquid ensure. i'm sure the product owners would love to hear that is torture. >> we assessed the political realities. we assessed the legal decisions. they said what techniques do you have to have to ensure the
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continued efficacy of the program? they came back with the set of scaled-down techniques. waterboarding was off the table. sleep deprivation. plus what you call the basic techniques. the box was gone. it was definitely a far less progressive program. it remained viable and effective. we took part of these briefings of the obama administration team. we thought we had a program that was viable, limited, politically and legally realistic. one by way the entire intelligence committee have now been briefed into.
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to digress for a second, the major mistake we made, and i include myself in this, was in the early years of the program. the existence of the program, it was limited to the gang of 8. i think that was a mistake. by 2006 both had been briefed. we thought it was possible. we thought the obama administration could have continued the program in this limited form, at least maintained it as an option. it did not come to pass. i do not think any less realistically thought they would stick with it. we had not reviewed the executive order. guantanamo was out of our lane. this is a factual flaw in the film. they were saying this is not factually correct. we got a hold of the executive order again. all government will be confined to the techniques in army field
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manual. my friends and i have talked about this. i said not that you ask, this is not occurring on the executive order. let me offer you a thought. down here it says all agents will be confined to the techniques in the army. i said if you would just put the phrase "unless otherwise authorized by the president" you might be able to buy back an awful lot of flexibility.
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what we needed most of all was ambiguity in terms of someone coming into american custody, being quite sure what would happen. that has not happened. that was the last thought we had on the process. >> you mentioned even if it was a blank page this would have made an effect. one of the last detainees that came into the program, i cannot remember the name of the individual. he came into custody. he was told we are the cia. he said i will tell you anything you want to know.
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>> the cartoonish version of it is let me tell you who we are. i heard about you. he was actually cooperative. >> just the existence. >> yes. back to the ambiguity. one thing that does come across in the movie, but you have to watch it very carefully, the most powerful tool we had in every interrogation we conducted was our knowledge. not one or another technique. >> once you got through the
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enhanced interrogation process then the real interrogation began, the debriefing. that is with the skill and knowledge with the people who were conducting the sessions. the knowledge base was so good that these people knew that we were not going to be fooled. we had other prisoners in our sights. we would be able to check information against others. they knew that. we mentioned the takedown. they did not know how much
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khalid sheikh mohammed had told us about $50,000. we would go and give him what we have heard from khalid sheikh mohammed and he thought we had given him all the information. he provided the names from there. it was very well done. the credit goes to the agency analysts and others who participated in the debriefing of his terrorists and wrote thousands and thousands of intelligence dissemination, which we would read every morning and were amazed at the information that was being disseminated. it was an incredible effort.
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>> this program gave us an enormous amount of information about al qaeda in pakistan. the administration continues to use the intelligence every day in drone strikes. it is not just actable intelligence but how they operate. since the program was shut down we have seen the emergence of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. we have had the emergence of al-shabab merging with al qaeda central. and al qaeda in africa. are we struggling in a way? the information we have on pakistan and the lack of information, is it harder to get the intelligence we need because we do not have this tool? >> one of the most important threads of information that i
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saw when i got there and still in 2006, late in the game, was detainee information. i already suggested to you that i am willing to adjust the detainee program. we have other penetrations and sources and knowledge. we have a better sense of the imminence of attack, what state of danger we are in as a nation. i told you we entered the black side in 2006. lazy journalists sometimes they we closed them. we did not. we kept the option open for the president. between that date and the time
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i'm leaving, we captured two people. it isn't setting indoor records compared to what we have done. it had become far more difficult to do this. i understand that. i do. to go back to my earlier statement. we have made it so legally challenging and politically dangerous. you tell the bureaucracy that is an option. it is electrified. i know how bureaucracies respond. that option does not flow to the top when you began to explore things. what you're getting is a little bit different than the white house saying all options are on the table. that is probably correct. in the real world what i just described for you makes a real difference.
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let's make it christmas night 2009. let's make a conference call with the guy who tried to explode his underpants. it is christmas night. who is in town? you have everybody on the conference call. the attorney general says we have a team, talk to him. we are going to send a clean team in there. put that aside whether it is a good idea or bad idea. can you imagine the guy at the cia on the conference call going "excuse me attorney general, i've got another option for you to consider." i cannot imagine that happening because of the broader political, cultural context we have created. it is so legally difficult and politically dangerous that we seem to be absent. >> eventually your own government will come after you. this was 2003.
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we had tremendous support from the congress and the american people to make sure we were not attacked again. we kind of laughed. the problem is that a few years later many of us were being investigated. the agency was being investigated. the concern that i have, frankly to this day, is the chilling effect it has on the leadership at the agency. if tomorrow there is a big crisis and they say we're going to start x and there was controversy and risk in it, people are going to say look what happened in the past. despite the best efforts, we still had to face a lot of investigations and bills and indictment and stuff. i fear for the safety of our
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national security because of that. maybe am overdoing it but i have a great concern about it. >> looking down the road, let me indulge. hagen advised that you cannot kill everybody. detention must be an option left on the table. theoretically i suppose it is an option today. the reality is there has been a grand total of one detainee captured since the program ended. we cannot kill this threat by killing this threat. i will leave that at that. >> i wanted to open it up to questions from the audience. >> i am an open source intelligence person. in the movie, they have a portion where they take the gentleman and get them a very nice plate of food. the guy is apprehensive. the issue is we put you back in
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there but you do not have to eat this. the movie is criticized for the enhanced interrogation techniques but when someone decides to cooperate, one thing that is not always acknowledged is that once you get them to cooperate sometimes just giving the option to have something better, that can get them to talk. i was wondering what would it be in your experience, when you're not dealing with someone like khalid sheikh mohammed maybe you have some of the mid- level guys who are not as radicalized.
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with experiences you have someone, them off the liquid food diet, helped turn the
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table to give them something? >> the whole program was designed around providing rewards for good behavior. they got a lot more than just good food. they got the best medical care. they got books. they watched movies. it was pretty good. they appreciate it.
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it was part of the program. >> we talked about the dvd collection at guantanamo. >> how did you get the true identity of osama bin laden's courier? would you have been able to track him down without using enhanced interrogation? >> as i said, we got the information of the courier from a facilitator who went through the enhanced interrogation program.
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it was not until some years later that we were able to get the true name of al-kuwaiti. that was through human collection capabilities. that was the importance intelligence that provided real information on the person that was the courier. the facilitator provided good information, the lead information, that allowed us to narrow it down. it was intelligence traditional
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work that led to the identification of al-kuwaiti. >> would you have been able to get him without enhances interrogation? >> it provided the lead information on osama bin laden. the enhanced interrogation program was much more than just getting osama bin laden. it was protecting the country and saving american lives. it allowed us to do it for 10 years. >> a couple of factual questions about the film. the main character, was that a fictional composition of different people who were looking after bin laden? i understand this is classified.
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was there one person that was really that template? did you actually really give italian sports cars to middlemen to obtain information? if so, which cars were they? [laughter] the deadly attack on the outpost, did that really happen because the local person was so eager to talk to the person? >> first of all about maya, all of us can claim we know a maya. clearly, the character in the movie is a composite. my wife will kill me. we were talking to her sister the other day and she said something about the movie being
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politically correct by making the woman the heroine. my wife responded this is an incredible band of sisters that spearheaded the ubl cell. this is not for it being a better story. most of the people who briefed me on osama bin laden were women officers of the cia. maya is a composite. onre's so much emphasis maya. the part of a movie that disturbed us the most was the portrayal of the base chief. she was a wonderful officer. she goes back pre-9/11. i understand artistically they
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wanted to create some sort of juxtaposition between her and maya, but it is very unfortunate and unfair that she was portrayed that way. let me offer you an additional thought. at the level of ethics and focus and attitude in culture, you do not get it without kost. it is not cause and effect. the kind of agency that was willing to lean forward, take this risk, willing to bring this potential source in is the kind of agency that leaned forward and finally led. it comes out of the same kind of cultural, ethical sense of duty reservoir. >> i knew jennifer matthews quite well. in many ways, in many ways that was the most in terms of try to separate from my movie, the way she was portrayed. it was clearly her. it was divorced from any sort of reality.
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jennifer was in the counter- terrorism center before 9/11. she and her colleagues were haunted by 9/11, haunted by guilt, haunted by the fact that maybe they should have done something else or found out something else. it was a terrible burden on all of them, but jennifer was affected directly. she came to talk to me about it afterwards. she came to talk to me because the cia inspector general wanted an investigation after 9/11 to assess accountability for 9/11 in the agency by name, people. think about that for a minute.
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people are going to be singled out for whose performance led to the 9/11 attack. it was a long list of people originally. it was immensely whittled down. jennifer was on that list. it haunted her and upset her. she was a far more complex and interesting character in real life than what was portrayed in the movie. in many ways, more of the composite figure than the maya. jennifer was far more attractive than the woman who played her in the movie. that may be a first in the history of modern docu-dramas. >> she was a lot more fun, too. >> i do not remember italian sports cars given to anybody. >> let me say thank you. i was wondering your position on whether or not the report on the interrogation program should be declassified.
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i am wondering whether you do see any risks to the program from an ethical perspective. if you could speak to why we should not have this program all the time or why you chose to rein it in? what those risks are even if there are practical needs. >> that sounded like pandering and i did not mean it to be. a complex culture means people are doing all sides of issues.
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we understand that. there are risks. i went to the german embassy in 2007. the ambassador had all of the ambassadors to the u.s. i said let's talk about detention and interrogation. i laid it out. let me give you four sentences. we believe we are a nation at war with al qaeda and the affiliates. my moral and legal responsibility is to take it to that enemy. there's not another country in the room who agreed with any of those four sentences. they not only rejected it for them, they had serious questions about the legitimacy of the questions for us. sometimes you have to forgo things that in your mind are ethical, legal, and effective because secondary and tertiary
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effects of taking that course of action may make you less effective. let's take target of killing. i said on cnn sunday morning, there was a time -- i knew there were secondary effects was the primary effect was so important because of the degree of danger that existed at the time. now the environment as changed the degree is somewhat different. now those effects might become dominant. yes, i can see a down side for doing things that you believe are effective and legal and appropriate if it denies you the cooperation of others who see it in a different way. i think we're all aware of that. we knew that. in 2006, it was huddle up, the world has changed, what is appropriate going forward with no judgment whatsoever on what went on before. different circumstances,
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different people. not -- >> not having read the report, i would say that become its released it needs to be fixed if, in fact the interrogation program had no value. they need to take a second look and maybe spend more time and talk to those who were involved in the program. in terms of the ethical question, in writing hard measures, i spent a lot of time talking to people who worked with me. some of my deputies were very senior analysts, very logical. these are folk who is will analyze every aspect of everything.
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i asked him this question and he gave me a long explanation, 15- minute explanation on why he thought it was ethical and why he agreed to participate in the first place. he provided arguments i never considered.
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>> those of you who haven't feel free to take a seat. i don't mind. i love you back.
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last week i had the honor of being sworn in for a second term as president of the united states. during my inaugural address i talked about how making progress on the defining challenges of our time doesn't require us to settle every debate or ignore every difference that we may ha have, but it does require us to find common ground and move forward in common purpose. it requires us to act. i know some issues will be harder to lift than others. some debates will be more contentious. that is to be expected. but the reason i came here today is because of a challenge where the differences are dwindling, where a broad consensus is emergi emerging, and where a call for action can now be heard coming
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from all across america. i'm here today because the time has come for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform. [cheers and applause] >> now is the time. now is the time. now is the time. [crowd chanting] >> now is the time. i'm here because most americans agree that it is time to fix the system that has been broken for way too long. i'm here because business leade leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement and
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leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as the land of opportunity. now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country's future. think about it. if we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants, the promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe has always been one of our greatest strengths. it keeps our workforce young, it keeps our country on the cutting edge, it has helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known. after all, immigrants have to start business g businessing -s like google. they created new industries that
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created new jobs and new prosperity. in recent years one in four high tech start-ups in america were founded by immigrants. one in four new small business owners were immigrants, including right here in nevada. folks who came here seeking opportunity and want to share that with other americans. but we all know that today we have an immigration system that is out of date and badly broken. a system that is holding us back instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class. right now we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in ameri america. 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows. yes, they broke the rules, they crossed the border illegally. maybe they overstayed their visas. those are the facts. nobody disputes them. but these 11 million men and
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women are now here. many of them have been here for years. and the overwhelming majority of these individuals aren't looking for any trouble. they are contributing members of the community. they are looking out for their families, their neighbors. they are woven into the fabric of our lives. every day, like the rest of us, they go out and try to earn a livi living. often they do that in a shadow economy, a place where employers may offer them less than the minimum wage, or make them work overtime without extra pay. when that happens, it is not just bad for them, it is bad for the entire economy. because all the businesses that are trying to do the right thing, that are hiring people legally, paying a decent wage, following the rules, they are the ones who suffer. they have to compete against
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companies that are breaking the rules. and the wages and working conditions of american workers are threatened, too. so, if we are truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we have to fix the system. we have to make sure that every business and every worker in america is playing by the same set of rules. we have to bring the shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable. businesses for who they hire and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. that is common sense. that is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. [applause] >> there's another economic reason why we need reform.
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it is not just about the folks who come here illegally and have the effect they have on our economy. it is about the folks who try to come here legally but have a hard time doing so and the effect that has on our economy. right now there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universiti universities. they are earning degrees in the fields of the future like engineering and computer science. but once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there's a good chance they will have to leave our country. think about that. intel was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and stayed here. instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. right now in one of those classrooms there's a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea, their intel or
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instagram, into a big business. we are giving them all the skills they need to figure that out. but then we're going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in china, or india, or mexico, or someplace else. that is not how you grow new industries in america. that is how you give new industries to our competitors. that is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. [applause] >> during my first term we took steps to try to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system. first, we strengthened security at the borders so we could stem the tide of illegal immigrants. we put more boots on the southern border than any time in our history. and today illegal crossings are down nearly 80% from their peak
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in 2000. [applause] >> second, we focused on enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegal and endanger our communities and today deportation of criminals is at the highest level ever. third, away took up the cost of the dreamers, the young people who are brought to this country. [cheers and applause] >> young people who have grown up here, have their futures here. we said if you are able to meet some basic rights here, like pursuing education, we will consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so you can live here and work here legally and have the dignity of knowing you belong. but, because this change isn't permanent, we need congress to
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act. and not just on the dream act. we need congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now. that is what we need. [applause] >> the good news is that for the first time in many years republicans and democrats seem ready it tackle this problem together. members of both parties in both cla chambers are actively working on a solution. yesterday a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform which are very much in lane with the principles i proposed and campaigned on the last few
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years. so at this moment it looks like there's a genuine desire to get there done soon, and that is very encouraging. but this time action must follow. we can't allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate. we have been debating this a very long time, so it is not as if we don't know technically what needs to get done. as a consequence, to help move this process along today i'm lake out my ideas for immigration reform and my hope is that this provides some key markers to members of congress as they craft a bill. because the ideas have been traditionally supported by democrats like ted kennedy and republicans like george w. bush. you don't get that matchup very often. so, we know where the consensus
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should be. now, of course, there will be rigorous debate about many of the details, and every stakeholder should engage in real give and take in the process. but it is important for us to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already n place and if congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, i will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. [cheers and applause] >> so, the principles are pretty straightforward. there are a lot of details
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behind it and we will hand out a bunch of paper so everybody will know exactly what we are talking about. but the principles are pretty straightforward. first, i believe we need to stay focused on enforcement. that means continuing to strengthen security at our borders. it means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers. to be fair, most businesses want to do the right thing but a lot of them have a hard time figuring out who is here legally and who is not. we need a national system to quickly and accurately verify someone's employment status. and if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers then we need to ramp up the penalties. second, we have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally. we all agree that these men and women should have to earn their way to citizenship. but for comprehensive immigration reform to work it
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must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship. [cheers and applause] >> we've got to lay out a path, a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning english, and then going to the back of the line behind all the folks that are trying to come here legally. that is only fair. so, that means it won't be a quick process, but it will be a fair process and it will lift these individuals out of the shadows and give them a chance to earn their way to a green card and eventually to citizenship. the third principle is we've got
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to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century. because it no longer reflects the realities of our time. for example, if you are a citiz citizen, you should not have to years before your family is able to join you in america. you should not have to wait years. [cheers and applause] >> if you are a foreign student who wants to pursue a career in science or technology, or a foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business with the backing of american investors, we should help you do that here. because if you succeed you will create american businesses and american jobs. you will help us grow our economy. you will help us strengthen our middle class. so, that is what comprehensive immigration reform looks like. smarter enforcement, a pathway to earn citizenship,
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improvements in the legal immigration system so that we continue to be a magnet for the best and brightest all around the world. it is pretty straightforward. the question now is simple. do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government, to finally put there issue behind us? i believe that we do. i believe that we did. [cheers and applause] >> i believe we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our gra grasp. but i promise you this. the closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become. immigration has always been an issue that inflames passes. that is not surprising. there are few things more as a society s
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than who gets to come here and call our country home. who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the united states of america. that is a big deal. when we talk about that in the abstract, it is easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of us versus them. when that happens, a lot of folks forget that most of us used to be them. [applause] >> we forget that. it is really important for us to remember our history. unless you are one of the first americans, a native american, you came from someplace else. somebody brought you here. [cheers and applause] >> ken salazar is of mexican
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american descent but he points out his family has been living where he lives for 400 years. so, he didn't immigrate anywhere. the irish, who left behind a land of famine. the germans, who fled persecution. the scandinavians arrived eager to pioneer out west. polish, russians, italian, chinese, west indians, the huddled masses that came through ellis on one coast and angel island on the other. applause] >> all those folks, before they were us, they were them. and when each new wave of immigrants arrived they faced
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resist tpbs from those who were already here. hardship. they faced racism. they faced rid call. -- ridicule. but over time they went about their daily lives as three earned a living, raised a family, built a community, as their kids went to school here. they did their part to build a nation. they were the einsteins and carnegies, but also the millions of men and women lift may not remember but -- history may not remember but whose action built this country, hand by hand, brick by brick. they all came here knowing that what makes somebody an american is not just blood or birth, but
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allegiance to our founding principles and a faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter of our story. and that is still true today. just ask allen. he is here this afternoon. there he is right there. alan was born in mexico. he was brought to this country by his parents when he was a chi child. growing up, alan went to an american cancel, pledged allegiance to the american flag, felt american in every way, and he was except for one -- on
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paper. had high school he watched his friends come of age driving around town with their new licenses, earning extra cash from the summer job at the mall. he knew he couldn't do those thin things. but it didn't matter that much. what mattered to alan was earning an education so he could give up to his god-given potential. when alan heard the news we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows, even if just for that years at a time, he was one of the first to sign up. and a few months ago he was one of the first people in nevada to get approved. [cheers and applause] . >> in that moment alan said i felt the fear vanish. i felt accepted.
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so, today alan is in his second year at the college of southern nevada. [cheers and applause] >> he is studying to become a doctor. he lopes hroeplopes -- hopes t air force. he is working hard every single day to build a better life for himself and his family. and all he wants is the opportunity to do his part to build a better america. [applause] >> so, in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real and the debate becomes more heated, and there are folks who are trying to pull this thing apa apart, remember alan and all those who share the same hopes
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and the same dreams. remember that this is not just a debate about policy. it is about people. it is about men and women, and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the american story. throughout our history into has only made our nation stronger. that is how we will make sure that this century is the same as the last, an american century, welcome i welcoming everybody who aspires to do something more and is willing to work hard to do it, is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag. thank you, god bless you. and tkpwotd bless the united states -- god bless the united states of america.
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>> democratic senator chuck schumer and republican support john mccain are part of a bipartisan effort to make changes to the immigration laws. this morning they take part in the breakfast series. live coverage begins at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. then we look at gun violence and
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ways to reduce it following the newtown, connecticut, shootings. watch live coverage from the senate judiciary committee at 10:00 a.m. eastern. up next a discussion on c.i.a. interrogation techniques and their depiction in the film "zero dark thirty." on "washington journal" a look at u.s. immigration policy, the economy and the hidden history of libya. >> they said they were going to pass a bill and it was going to be a good bill on civil rights. can you get him to agree or is he going to try to keep from passing anything? >> i think that we've got to get our foot down. >> l.b.j. and larry o'brien
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strategize on the president's civil rights agenda saturday 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span radio. online at c-span radio.org and channel 119 on x.m. satellite radio. >> a discussion on c.i.a. interrogation and search and capture of osama bin laden. the panel responds to the depiction of c.i.a. interrogations in the film "zero dark thirty." the american enterprise institute hosts this 90-minute event. >> good morning. welcome to this morning's panel. i'm a fellow here at the american enterprise institute and member of a.e.i.'s task
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force on detention policy. the film depict being the operation that killed osama bin laden spark ed controversy over interrogation. for the most part the outrage of the film is coming from the left and has been directed at mrs. bigelow. if you are conservative like me your temptation is to sit back and enjoy the fight. i think that is why many of the c.i.a. defenders and supporters have stayed out of the debate. why interrupt while the progressives are fighting it out. but culture matters and many americans are going to form their opinions based on what they see on the silver screen. so it is important for those who know the truth to separate fact from fiction. we have a panel to do that. three veterans of the c.i.a. who were directly involved in the
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c.i.a. interrogation and detention program and in the hunt for osama bin laden. we have the former director of the national security agency and director of the c.i.a. i got to know mike it 2006 when i was a speechwriter for president bush. i was asked to write the president's speech revealing the the interrogation program and mike was very kind to give me access to all the intelligence that program will introduce and introduced me to the men and women who conducted the interrogations, men and women who i grew to admire and respect and highway consider to be heroes. but he is not only one of the smartest people i know but one of the most compelling witnesses to the efficacy of the program. when he came in office in 2006 the program was suspend and he was not involved in the initial creation so he conducted an impartial assessment. he gathered the information and had to advise the president whether to restart it and based on that objective assessment he
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concluded he could not advise the president not to have an interrogation program. so i think we will ask mike to explain why he came to that conclusion. jose rodriguez is the former director of the c.i.a. of national clandestine service. he was an undercover officer before coming head of the counterterrorism center where he led the collection intelligence programs against al qaeda including the interrogation program that is depicted this in film. he is the author of whether i consider to be the best book written on the topic how aggressive c.u.a. action after 9/11 saved american lives. john rizzo is the former chief legal officer of the c.i.a. spent 40 years there. he is the most influential lawyer in c.i.a. history and that is probably an understatement. in his memoir georgetown tenet
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wrote when there is a crisis you don't call the tough guys, call the lawyers. for three decades that call went to john rizzo and he provided the legal advice that allowed our interrogators to get the information they needed while staying well within the bounds of law and sacrificed personally in his service to our country and i'm proud to know him and i'm very glad he has joined us. i assume most people have seen the movie but let's show a trailer so you can get a taste of it. >> i have bad news. i'm not your friend. i'm not going to help you. i'm going to break you. any questions?
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i want to make something absolutely clear. there was some working group coming to the resc rescue, i want you to know that you are wrong. this is it. there is nobody else hidden away on some other floor. there is just us. and we are failing. >> you really believe this story? osama bin laden? >> yeah. >> what part convinced you? >> her confidence.
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>> if you are right, the whole world is going to want in on this. >> you will never find him. >> all right. so, the progressive complaint about "zero dark thirty" is while the depiction of enhanced techniques in the movie is accurate, their role in finding osama bin laden is not accurate. i suspect most of our panelists would tend to disagree with that
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assessment. i would like to take those two topics but first i want to ask a simple question. it must have been quite an experience going to the movie theatre and seeing something you worked so closely on depicted on film. what did you think of the movie? >> i liked it. and on balance i turned to my wife after it was done and said i'm glad it was made. we will talk about it should have broken left here or there or that is not quite right but on balance i'm very happy that the story was made and frankly i'm very happy because i read the op-ed in the post this morni morning, we will discuss the accuracy, artistic and hymn inside the film. but i think it does a masterful job at suggesting that in the real world there are no right angles and no easy answers to
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very difficult situations. and that to me was a great service. >> i also liked the movie. it was very entertaining. but it is a movie and there are some things i really liked and things that i did not like. i did not like, for example, the betrayal of the enhanced interrogation techniques. i did not like the fact that it made a false link 2010 torture and intelligence successes. because i also think that torture does not work. and our program worked because it was not for clear. but there were other things i liked about the movie. i liked the fact that it conveyed that this was a 10-year marathon rather than a sprint ordered by a new president, and
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that the agency was the focus of his effort and that it succeeded because of the commitment, dedication and tenacity of its peop people. i like the fact that it showed that then handed interrogation program had something to do with the capture of bin laden. i liked that it conceded that in fact there were other intelligence techniques that allowed us to capture bin laden besides interrogation, including human operations and analysis and technical operations, imagery. and i also liked that it showed the strong working relationship between the agency and the military. so, it is a mixed bag, but again it was entertainment and i like
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entertainment. agree with mike's and jose's take. it is a terrific action flick. for my money it was about 20 minutes too long. i start twitching at the two-hour mark and the final takedown was done obviously in real-time and it was riveting. the interrogation scenes, they were striking. they were hard to watch for me, having lived through this and how the actual techniques came to be and all the safeguards that we put on them, all the monitoring by medical personnel during the course of the interrogati interrogation. again, it is a movie, so the character in the movie, the interrogator, seemingly making
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stuff up as he went along. you are not talking, ok, bring on the water. >> get the bucket. >> get the bucket. now the box, people have asked me about the box. and since this whole thing is declassified now most of you know one technique feels a box, putting the detainee in a box for a limited duration. the box in the movie is not the kind of box that was used. when i say all of this, i don't want to downplay or leave any impression that the actual program and actual waterboarding was tame or benign. it was a very aggressive technique as were all of the others. so, on the whole, i went into it telling myself it was going to be a movie. i was frankly relieved that
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there were no lawyers involved in the movie. i would be spending the next four years at cocktail parties explaining why i was not that lawyer. so, on the whole, as jose said, it was a mixed bag but it was a terrific movie and i think it did really take no sides and i think it keyed up the complicated moral questions especially in the first few scary months after the 9/11 attacks. >> just to follow up, you were the chief legal officer at the time. would you have authorized the interrogation techniques the way they were depicted. explain the difference of the box. did people just throw people on a mat and start pouring water
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over their heads? >> no. first of all, it was mother may i. the interrogators were not allowed to ad-lib. there were certain specific, as we will see memos show at the time, there was a meticulous procedure to undertake. the waterboa of the interrogators at the site would have to come back in writing, explain why they thought the waterboard was necessary. it would be approved at headquarte headquarters. during the time the waterboard was used -- which was only until mid 2003 -- it took the c.i.a. director to approve the use. it was a much more moderate program. the box was not pleasant. first of all, there was a big box authorized that the detainee could stand in and a smaller
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box. it didn't appear to me to be quite as small as what was depicted in the movie. but, yes, there was a box technique. but again everyone can look at this a different way. i just had the impression from the scene that the guy was sort of ad-libbing as he went along, which was, believe me, far from the reality. >> mike, one of the scenes the interrogator throws whoever the detainee is down and starts pouring water on his head and shouting and when is the last time you saw bin laden. i think that gets to a deep misunderstanding of how interrogation actually worked. one thing you explained to me when i was working on my book and the president's speech is there is a difference between interrogation and debriefing and the purpose of interrogation we didn't actually ask questions we didn't know the answer to.
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it is to ascertain whether they were being truthful. >> yes and i understand hollywood has to compress everything. john is happy there are no lawyers depicted, i wonder why they left one station chief in islamabad for 10 years. so, things are badly compressed and in reality it may have just been too long for the narrative to move forward. but i'm almost going to make an absolute statement that we never asked anybody anything we didn't know the answer to while they were undergoing the enhanced interrogation techniques. the techniques were not designed to elicit truth in the moment, which is whether was the idea of i will hurt you more, i'm not your friend. for two-thirds of the detainee this was not necessary. now, i'm willing to admit that the existence of the option may
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have influenced the two-thirds who said well, let's talk. let's be candid with one another. but for about a third techniques were used. not to elicit, again, information in the moment but to take someone who had come into our custody absolutely defiant and move them into a state or zone of cooperation whereby, and then you will were the scene in the movie after the detainee is cleaned up and they are having this conversation, for the rest of the detention and in some case it is is years, it is a conversation. it is a debriefing. it is going back and forth with the kind of dialogue that you saw in that scene about a third of the way through the movie. a lot of people kind of refl reflexively say they will say anything to make you stop, which may be true. that is why we didn't ask them questions while this was going
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o on. as john said, these things were not gentle or kind. but the impact -- and i think jose has written very thoughtfully about there -- the impact was psychological. the impact is you are no longer in control of your destiny. you are in our hands. therefore, that movement into the zone of cooperation as opposed to the zone of defiance. but jose has more of the fine print on that. >> and usually the enhanced interrogation program lasted a few days. in control of the kicase of oth. but it was a defined amount of time. in fact, i think the justification for the use of the tebchniques said that we could not go beyond 30 days. and they had very specific information, guidance, regarding
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how long the sessions could be and how long we could pour water. so it was well controlled. >> and some picked out the restrictions. >> he did because quickly he recognized that within 10 seconds we would stop pouring water so after a while he figured it out and he started to count with his fingers up to 10 just to let us know that the time was up. >> tell the story that you have in your book about abu isuzu pwaeud tdon't and what he said after he was waterboarded. >> it was interesting because he said we should use waterboarding in particular but the enhanced interrogation program on all the brothers. and he said because the explanation was the brothers
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needed to have religious justification to to talk, to provide information. however, they would not be expected by allah to go beyond their capabilities or their resistance. so once they felt that they were there, they would then become compliant and provide information. so, he basically recommended to us that we needed to submit the brothers to this type of procedure if we wanted them to cooperate. as a matter of fact, to help them reach the level where they would become compliant and provide information. >> in order to do so without sin. >> yes. >> this narrative was -- by the summer of 2006, as mark sunged, trying to make judgments on the overall effectiveness of the program and what would being a legitimate program going forward
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because circumstances had changed. story, was ive, this important for my own soul searching on this. in other words, i was not trying to prove the point that what we ere doing was universal ly applicable for all detainees in all circumstances for all future crises. it was peculiarly well suited to this group, whose belief was founded on almost metaphysical principles, you know, obedience to the will of good and this story that zubaida said allah expects us to obey but he saeid you have fulfilled it.
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and that tried to expand the debate to suggest that we are trying to suggest some met fiscal macro principle. i was not interested in it. i was focused on what was happening here in this war. >> and in many cases, i think that they were finally relieved that they had reached the point where they felt three could t k talk. and once they reached that point, these are very egomaniac people and they have huge egos and they content wait to tell you how evil they are. so, they just started talking like khalid shaikh mohammed, he wouldn't stop. but he also psychologically issue of the big egos and want to tell you played into our hands after a while because they would want to tell us everything. >> one of the things i think that people don't realize that
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philosophy started with, how when he was arrest and torture and gave one of his close confidants and was despondent over it and the person came to him and said no, no, no, you resisted. and you resisted as far as you could. no one could have undergone it so you did the right thing by giving me up. so he was one of the men who trained them in counterinterrogation techniques. this comes from his experience that he spread throughout the group. john, we see in the movie that faraj al libi was waterboarded but i don't think that happened. we also hear that k.s.m. was waterboarded 180 times. he told the red cross it was five times and no one seems to
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believe him. can you expound on that? >> sure. mike may remember this. al libi was never waterboarded. but he was the last detainee who was subjected to e.i.t.'s before we had to suspend the program. so, the e.i.t.'s in his case stopped midstream, thus earning him a minor footnote in history, i suppose. and they were not resumed until some months later. this issue of numbers, how many times, how many times feels k.s.m. waterboarded. this first came up because of a report in 2004 which was subsequently declassified by the
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obama administration when they came into office. jose probably is more of an expert in how this was actually done, but it depends on the way you count them. the actual applications, as jose said, lasted just a matter of seconds. impression was left that 83 sessions and -- 183 sessio sessions. again, i don't want to say that what these guys went through was not very aggressive. but it is simply -- i mean, those numbers are way out of bounds and have been misinterpreted in subsequent years to suit the particular commentaries or organizations'
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polemic perspective. >> one of the startling statistics in looking at there is there are more journalists who had themselves waterboarded to prove it is torture than there are terrorists who have been water boarded. >> almost an equal number of lawyers, too. seriously. in order to offer a judgment they said i want to be able to experience it. >> for the record, that was not me. i was not quite ready for that part of my electrical research. but there was a lawyer in our office who was closely monit monitoring it on a day-to-day basis who agreed to do that. >> and tens of thousands of servicemen have been waterboarded and i think now the only people that we stillwater board are americans in uniform. so waterboarding continues, just not of terrorists. let's turn to the question of the rule that interrogation
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played in the hunt for bin laden. >> first, i have to mention because we're kind of anchored on >> we are anchored on the movie. is the movie a lot more subtle than those who have not seen the movie? feel free to comment. after reading commentary about the movie, i expected this nonstop linear short line between an interrogation session and boots on the ground. there is an awful lot of complex intelligence work that is shown in the movie, for which i do not think the movie gets credit. i do want to make that point. when i was first briefed, and i think it was late 2007. it may have been very early 2008. the team came to me and said "we think we're onto something here." what we think we've portrayed
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correctly was the obsession people tracking down osama bin laden. this is a very broad team. these folks have been on one or another different hypothesis. they came to me and said "couriers." we think this is going to be a very positive line of inquiry. we have some information. we know we are communicating. we're confident it is not electronically giving the other means. we would have detected that. it must be face-to-face. we have leads on couriers. they laid out a whole series of paths they were following. one was information derived from cia detainees. it was just mentioned in passing. we were not trying to prove a principal or refute an